All around us we are bombarded on all sides by news of earthquakes, tsunamis, political unrest, pure chaos and havoc around the globe. Viewing images of such brokenness, such grief, a world so very much not as it should be I am tempted to despair.
But my heart moves forward in hope.
As I prayed for all the cracked and drowning places of the world this week I was reminded of Romans 8…
19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed… 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
All creation groans….
I churn this over in my heart …
Even the earth itself knows things are not as they should be. That this planet is fallen and awaiting it’s redemption and full glory. All creation is groaning, not in hopelessness, but in longing, groaning in expectation of redemption, freedom and glory. For all to be made new again. Childbirth pains are not in vain, but rather eager expectation of the child to come, despite the pain, childbirth is full of hope.
But I read this over and over; there is something there …. “For the children of God to be revealed”. I read various translations… I take apart the meaning….
Children, or Sons is from the Greek “huios” – “primarily this word stresses the quality and essence of one so resembling another that distinctions between the two are indiscernible…. the dignity of the relationship with God whereunto men are brought by the Holy Spirit when they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
To be revealed or manifest- from the Greek word “apokalupsis”- “the root word means to take off the cover, to unveil. This word depicts the progressive and immediate unveiling of the otherwise unknown and unknowable God to His church.”
As I think on this I wonder…
Could it be that we not only hope for the complete redemption of this broken earth and of our own broken bodies but we hope…courageously….for now… for this constant process of the Holy Spirit working in us… to unveil Christ in us? The Holy Spirit causing in us to be like Jesus?
That all creation groans in pain for the sons and daughters of God to walk in the fullness of their identity as his children?
That God will be revealed to us when he is unveiled in us?
That the radical change we long to see in the world lies within our own hearts being full of compassion, love and grace, our own lives being laid down for others, our own eyes seeing what the Father is doing and doing that, partnering with God in the healing of the sick and the freeing of the captives?
Could it be that the healing of this planet and of our own hearts lies in our true identity as sons and daughters of God being revealed and therefore revealing God himself?
That this unveiling is the unveiling of the true Bride of Christ?
Could it be that the birth pains are the labor of the Bride of Christ being born?
…And that we have only to surrender to the process?
As I continue to mull all this over in my heart I cling to hope ….
24…But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Even now, in the midst of all of this…. we can find His gifts in the daily moments, the big and small gifts and the gratitude for them. Gratitude that opens our eyes to hope and joy. It may seem insignificant or trite in the midst of others who are suffering so much… but we have to continue to see the gifts he gives us all day, because seeing the gifts gives us the vision to hope for that which we cannot see. This hope and vision opens our hearts to Holy Spirit working in us to become the agents of change that all creation is groaning for.
So once again I join the community counting to one thousand…..
57. The fact that I am actually enjoying and loving where I live right now. (Something I once thought would be impossible).
58. Spectacular weather…. I mean… it has been amazing.
59. A rich spiritual heritage for myself and my children… we are blessed.
60. That Jehovah Jirah is the one who sees and sees to it every day for my family and me.
61. Blue jays and cardinals at the birdfeeder.
62. Friendships all over the world.
63. The gift and privilege of time with my children.
64. The gift and privilege of building relationships with my children.
65. Good health.
66. Family that laughs together.
67. Dreaming big….
68. A little encouragement along the way.
70. Baby kisses.
71. Big girl kisses.
72. That my God has a name… and he is making his name known… to me and to others….